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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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P 161138Z DEC 09
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002720

STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD

WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR NEA STAFF

SECDEF WASHDC FOR USDP/ASD-PA/ASD-ISA
HQ USAF FOR XOXX
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JOINT STAFF WASHDC FOR PA
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COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE FOR PAO/POLAD
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JERUSALEM ALSO ICD
LONDON ALSO FOR HKANONA AND POL
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR IS

SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

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SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
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Mideast

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Key stories in the media:
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After several days of relative calm in the confrontations between
settlers and Civil Administration inspectors, violence reignited
yesterday when Civil Administration inspectors went to Tzofim to
enforce the construction ban in West Bank settlements. Tzofim, which
Yediot notes is not considered to be an Qideological settlement,
has a mixed secular-religious population and abuts the Green Line to
the north of Qalqilya. Civil Administration inspectors, who had come
to confiscate heavy machinery that was engaged in infrastructure
work on the settlement, were turned away by settlers. The police and
Border Police reinforcements were met by a few dozen teenagers and
adults, who blocked all access routes to the settlement. At least
one of the teenagers on the scene claimed that the violence was
started by the police. The violence, which police accuse the
settlers of starting, left one Border Policewoman hospitalized in
moderate condition. Additionally, at least another two Border
Policemen and eleven settlers were also injured. In a related
story, Maariv reported that Interior Minister Eli Yishai has
instructed his office to expedite the lengthy planning work that
precedes construction in West Bank settlements during the ten-month
moratorium. The interior ministerQs goal is to create a situation in
which construction can be renewed at an intensified pace once the
construction freeze order expires.

In a follow-up to the arrest warrant issued to Tzipi Livni in the
U.K. this week, Maariv reports this morning that both Uzi Arad and
Naor Gilon from the Foreign Ministry held conversations yesterday
with the British ambassador to Israel, in which they underscored
IsraelQs position that the British government needed to take
legislative action to prevent the recurrence of such instances.
Gilon reportedly indicated that top Israeli officials would boycott
Britain until this matter was resolved. In England, British Foreign
Secretary David Miliband reportedly told the Israeli ambassador to
the U.K. that he, too, believed the situation to be unacceptable and
that Prime Minister Gordon Brown held consultations with top cabinet
members yesterday on the subject.

In a lengthy interview from Ramallah, HaQaretz this morning is
quoting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as saying that it is
possible to reach an agreement with Israel within six months, but
only if Israel enforces a strict freeze of settlement construction
for this period. Abbas is also quoted by Israel Hayom today as
having said yesterday in Ramallah that the Palestinians would not
QacceptQ the Israeli initiative as adequate and, at the same
opportunity, added a new condition that would have to be met before
the PA would renew talks with Israel: QTalks with Israel will be
renewed if the international community recognizes the 1967 borders
as the borders of the future Palestinian state,Q said Abbas.

This morning the electronic media reported IranQs claim that it
successfully tested a long-range improved version of the Sajil-2
missile. In another development, Yediot quoted foreign media
outlets as saying that Israel is operating unmanned naval vessels in
the Persian Gulf to spy on Iran.


Yediot reported that Israel and Turkey are secretly coordinating a
visit to Turkey by PM Ehud Barak.

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Mideast:
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Block Quotes:
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I. QThe Realist Manifesto

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning HaQaretz (12/16): QBarack Obama's speech upon receiving
the Nobel Peace Prize should be called the Qrealist manifesto.Q The
U.S. President summed up his political worldview in seven words: QI
face the world as it is.Q Not a messiah, not a prophet and not a
dreamer. Rather, a leader who recognizes the limits of human nature
and sees statecraft as a power game.... First, he does not see
Israel as an important ally, as did Bush, who viewed it as a partner
in the global war on terror. Obama, too, believes in good and evil,
but his world is painted in many shades of gray, not black and
white. Second, Obama perceives the Israeli-Arab conflict as a
struggle for racial and tribal identity, and above all, religious
identity. To him, it's a Qconflict between Arabs and JewsQ that is
only worsening, rather than a political and strategic conflict.
Third, he does not rule out a unilateral defensive war, but he will
strictly observe the rules of engagement and the Geneva
Conventions.... Fourth, and most important, Obama tends toward a
gradual peace process whose results would be felt immediately,
rather than postponing everything until all problems are solved....
The aspiration toward a final-status agreement does not exist in a
laboratory, but in a reality in which facts are being created and
the occupation is deepening. Obama understands this and prefers
partial steps to waiting for the Big Bang, which may not arrive. So
he insisted on a construction freeze in the settlements, even a
partial one, and he will support economic peace and another
withdrawal from the West Bank. He will not put everything on hold
until the conflict is over. And if he remains true to his realist
manifesto, he will certainly also support dialogue with Hamas.

II. QThe Invoice Will Be Presented to All Israelis

Prominent liberal-centrist playwright Yehoshua Sobol wrote in the
independent Israel Hayom (12/16): QThese days, when the Government
of Israel is looking for national priority areas in which to invest
our money, it looks as if the first and foremost national priority
must be given to quickly and fundamentally handling the firebrands
of the mosque of Yasuf -- before hundreds of innocent people pay
with their lives the Qprice-tagQ set by the perpetrators of the next
bloodbath.

III. QWeQre All Tzipi Livni

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (12/16) :
QBritish Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Foreign Secretary David
Miliband have been sitting on their hands rather than push through
legislation that would make it impractical for anti-Zionist
campaigners to conduct QlawfareQ against visiting Israeli
officials.... Israel's enemies ... come away with a propaganda
victory because reports that a high-ranking Israeli [former Foreign
Minister Tzipi Livni] was accused of such heinous charges chip away
at Israel's legitimacy.... Plainly, Britain so closely identifies
with the Arab position on borders, settlements and Jerusalem that it
no longer even feigns diplomatic evenhandedness.... Brown twice
promised to propose legislation that would hamper lawfare by
requiring Her Majesty's Attorney General for England and Wales to
approve the issuance of any war crimes warrant. Some suggest Brown
and Miliband have purposefully not fulfilled this promise to
chastise Israel. Others say they simply lack the political capital
to face down their own rabidly pro-Palestinian backbenchers and --
just months before national elections -- do not want to be dependent
on the Tories to pass a law. Whatever the explanation, this has not
been Britain's finest hour.

IV. QWe Must Not Return to the Days of QHypocritical Albion

Veteran journalist and television anchor Dan Margalit wrote in the
independent Israel Hayom (12/16) : QEnglish law, which allows for
the arrest of anyone who played an active role in an armed conflict
between countries and groups that have no connection to Britain, is
the evolution of an international treaty that urges its signatories
to do so [i.e. to make such arrests]. Most signatories have not
heeded that entreaty. England did accede and, by so doing, either
deliberately or accidentally became a serial harasser of IsraelQs
leadership.... The Israeli leadership is behooved to be careful
because, the protests aired by Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor
Lieberman notwithstanding, it is not at all clear whether they will
succeed in persuading the British Government to intervene against
the arrests and, even if it should deign to do so, it is doubtful
whether it has the authority to impose its will on the independent
British courts system. There is only one way to do so, and that is
to have the British Parliament establish that those laws are
invalid. But given the current atmosphere in London, there is no
chance that the government will take that necessary step.... It is
not one law or another that, unto itself, makes the difference;
rather, it is when it becomes part of a woven fabric along with
other steps by organizations with ulterior motives, which the
[British] Government has not taken steps to hinder their access to
the courts, academia and the media. Jewish organizations and
Israeli citizens find their way into this mesh and serve as an
QalibiQ for the Muslims of England to show that the motive for their
action is not anti-Semitic. They will always have a Jew and an
Israeli from the far Left to count on. As the Bible notes, Qyour
destroyers and devastators will come from your own midst.Q Evidence
can be found in the generous financial aid that the British
Government grants to organizations whose purpose is to impede the
governments of Israel, be it the current government, the one before
or even the one that served before that.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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